Here is an insider’s secret on the best way to buy fresh flowers in the Netherlands:
Look out for them “langs de weg” (on the roadside, usually placed in a cart just outside the house). You’d find them already packed in bunches and a sign with the price on them. You can’t miss it.
Pick up what you need. Or as many as you want to
Leave your money in the tin/box/next to the flowers/in between the cart/mailbox. Cash only.
Depending on your mode of transport as and when you decide to stop by to pick a bunch or two, drive or just walk away with your spoils
These would be commercially home-grown flowers from green-houses and the bestest news I’m goign to share with you is that the prices tend to be cheaper than those you’d find in the supermarkets. Be prepared to pay a couple of Euros. Yes, a couple.
Quality wise, they are not at all inferior.
Just remember to keep a look-out for them as you drive along residential areas, otherwise known as the houses in the villages.
What to do when you get home:
Place them in a vase filled with water
Particularly with tulips, cut off about 2-3 inches off the stem. (They bloom and grow longer fast and usually within a few hours!)
Watch them bloom.
These were our spoils from last week which we got by langs de weg. The price: €1.25 for a bunch of about 10 stalks. Tulips are now in season alright!
Aren’t they just too beautiful? I like how just the mere presence of them brighten up our home. Plus, unlike in Asia, we don’t have to spend silly money just to get a bunch of nice flowers that would rot and die in a matter of days.
By silly money, I really mean stupid silly like costing 10x more for a bunch of perhaps only a few stalks of fresh flowers (you pay much, much more for tulips!) versus what we pay here. That was easily one of the reasons why I used to find buying flowers unnecessary and wasteful.
Now that we are living in the Netherlands where flowers are bred in abundance, my appreciation for them has grown exponentially. Particularly with tulips – one of my favourites. I think I’m going to be trippin’ on them for a little while.
Not to mention that this entire exchange by langs de weg as I described above is purely build on trust. It would be very hard-pressed that people won’t pay up.
Like the flowers, it’s more than just refreshing. I think it’s brilliant! Welcome to the Netherlands.